As I started getting deeper and deeper into the journey myself I started to realize why people don’t talk about some of these things honestly and openly; because they are embarrassing. Because they are things that we don’t particularly like to admit are issues. Honestly before my most recent surgery, I would not even consider showing before and after pictures of my surgeries to my Family and Friends. But once I had this last surgery and I could see the difference I was a lot more open to sharing that with those close to me so that they could see too. Even now though, I can’t imagine sharing those photos with the whole world.
Excess skin is something I don’t think gets talked about nearly enough and it is one of the toughest mental challenges I faced during my weight loss journey, worryingly about how I was going to get the skin removed from my body so that I could move forward with my life was a big issue for me.
So far to date I have had two of three, possibly four reconstructive plastic surgeries to fix my body due to excess skin after massive rapid weight loss. I can tell you that today I feel a lot better about my body, but a year ago, I was feeling like I was 35 going on 85 with what I was seeing in the mirror. The only thing worse than looking in the mirror and see that “fat girl” looking back at me… was looking in the mirror and seeing the remnants of her looking back and me and realizing just how much I resented what I had done to myself. Seeing that reflection in the mirror was honestly more deflating to my ego than what I saw when I weighted 420lbs. At 420lbs I could say, I had a horrible childhood and I survived it, and who are you to judge me if I turn to food to make me feel better, I am damn well entitled to after what I had to go through.” At 195lbs with (so far to date) 13lbs+ of JUST skin hanging off me, my internal monologue was much different. It went more like… “No matter what I do, what I accomplish or how hard I try, there is always some part of how much some people damaged me left behind.” It was the moment that I first heard those thoughts in my head that I decided that I would do whatever it took get that skin cut off me.
So in the gym on Monday I am on the Elliptical, and I realize that I’m moving along quite nicely and getting a good workout and suddenly I think to myself, “I wonder if I can let go and just balance on this thing.” I have no clue what possessed me to try, I have no idea what made me think that it would be easier after my surgery, but I let go of those bars and there I was, running in place on an Elliptical. For a moment, just the fact that I was doing that was a huge adrenalin rush. But suddenly something else occurred to me. Here I was, running in place on and Elliptical, arms swinging freely beside me and… what.. the… gosh! My stomach wasn’t jiggling. My belly wasn’t shaking. My boobs were not bouncing all over the place and my arms were not swinging around like I was a bat. Suddenly I just wanted to go faster and faster. Next thing I knew my 33 minute “Weight Loss Workout” program on the Elliptical was over. But I wasn’t done yet, the rush and the high I was on was a little too amazing to stop. So I reset the workout to do a second time. Not that that is at all unusual for me mind you. I usually do two Elliptical Workout Programs and one 30 Minutes Interval Running on a Treadmill or vice-a-versa on a normal day for my Cardio workout but so far last week was my first week back in the gym post op skin removal surgery #2, so bumping it up to an hour on Monday was a pretty big deal to me. I was quite sore Monday night and Tuesday morning, we’ll see how I feel in the gym today though. I plan on doing a 33 minute Elliptical workout program with interval resistance and then another 33 minutes on a Treadmill for a nice paced walk. Then I’ll head home to get the boys and take them to the dog park, and by boys, I mean those two furry four legged boys of mine.
So between this WOW Moment in the Gym and my WOW Moment yesterday when Chris Powell responded to my Letter, Getting the first Sponsor on our Fundraiser, it is all so exciting I just can’t take it. Oh! On a funny note, I had Chinese food last night and once again retained my fortune while giving away my cookie. “You need a new environment. Go on Vacation.” I guess it is a really good thing we have that San Fran / Oakland Trip coming up. I’m going to get to see some very special people in my life for the first time since I lost all my weight, I can’t wait to take Alex and his stroller on a jog with me! I can’t wait to drag all of the Hatcher Family out on walks. I can’t wait to sneak away for a few days at meet Heather’s friend Rachel, and I can’t wait to find a couple of days to go Visit Tom and I’m totally jazzed about Introducing Heather to California San Fran / Oakland / San Louis Obispo Style. So far on my to list is a day in San Louis Obispo, and definitely we want to sign up for the Alcatraz Tour because I just can’t be in San Francisco again and NOT go to Alcatraz. But that’s a story for another day, right now I need a few hours of sleep before I get up and head to the gym… oh the hours I keep and how the will change when I have a job that doesn’t allow me to be nocturnal anymore.